Gnome-shell using 8Gb ram

Hi there, have you guys noticed gnome-shell using many gigs of RAM? I suspect this builds up over time as this clears after reboot.

Seen many similar reports on various sites and there are two things suggested -

  1. extensions - which I don’t have and
  2. switch from x11 to wayland - which I believe is the default.

This is on rocky 8.5 / frozen on kernel 4.18.0-348.23.1.el8_5.x86_64. Updating this box is super tricky but if this is a known issue / there is a version that fixes this I can go through the ordeal.

How are you measuring it, and does it go to zero when you log off? I’m assuming you don’t leave it logged in.

Updates are always recommended. The latest version is Rocky 8.10. All Rocky 8 versions prior to 8.10 are now unsupported.

Therefore, the first thing to do is update your system.

Hi - thanks both.

I am looking at top output. Perhaps there is a better way? Also, I didn’t spec gnome-shell version which is gnome-shell-3.32.2-40.el8.x86_64 on this machine.

When all sessions are closed I get this:

1918 gdm 20 0 3456516 86044 41012 S 0.0 0.1 46:10.75 gnome-shell

Perhaps I am reading this wrong, but to me this reads like 3.5G of RAM.

Then after login I see

2900830 ivan 20 0 8918996 347860 115600 S 0.7 0.3 0:04.18 gnome-shell

Again - if I am reading this correctly, this is near 9G. By flipping between these two states, I was able to (naively) verify that free reports this memory as “used”.

I can see the same behaviour on Alma 9.3 with gnome-shell-40.10-14.el9_3.x86_64 (kernel 5.14.0-362.24.2.el9_3.x86_64) so likely not Rocky specific.


No that’s the VIRT value, you want to be looking at the one under RES which is most likely 86044 and later 347860.

Therefore, I don’t think you have a problem at all TBH.

It does use quite a chunk of “memory”, but it seems normal. As you already have Gnome, you can use “System Monitor : Processes : gnome-shell”, then right-click and properties. It shows a breakdown of all the different types of memory. I supposed being a full featured desktop it needs to have a lot of data ready to page in and out.